PRETORIA, South Africa - Blood on the stairs, walls and furniture, a cocked 9 mm pistol, bloody towels, fallen wall tiles. Like pieces of an unfinished puzzle, the photos of the blood-splattered interior of Oscar Pistorius' home gave a fragmented picture Thursday of his girlfriend's violent end.

One of the first police officers to arrive at the scene testified at the athlete's murder trial that he followed a "trail of blood" when he got there.

Recounting what he saw in macabre detail, former police colonel G.S. van Rensburg said he traced spots and bigger blood marks downstairs where Reeva Steenkamp lay dead from three gunshot wounds, then followed them across the floor, up the stairs, through a small lounge area and into Pistorius' bedroom.

Ultimately, he reached the bathroom where the double-amputee Olympian shot his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.

There, van Rensburg said he found Pistorius' gun, its hammer back and safety off, lying on a mat. Nearby were spent bullet casings, cellphones and a blood-soaked towel, as well as the cricket bat Pistorius says he used to smash open the toilet door to get to the fatally wounded Steenkamp.

In the toilet cubicle, a dark pool of blood was on the floor as well as wooden splinters from the broken door.

The mat the gun lay on was clean, in glaring contrast to the blood stains all around it, head prosecutor Gerrie Nel noted.

The 27-year-old Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder, and also faces three firearms charges. He has pleaded not guilty and says he shot the 29-year-old model by mistake, believing she was an intruder hiding in the toilet cubicle.

Prosecutors charge he intentionally shot Steenkamp after an argument.

Using the photos, the prosecution created a detailed picture of the scene. One showed a gun holster on the side of the bed where Pistorius says Steenkamp was sleeping that night. The size of the bedroom suggested Pistorius would have had to walk close to where he says he thought she was still sleeping to get to the bathroom.

Pistorius mostly kept his head down, avoiding the TV monitors where the images were shown. The screen next to Pistorius was switched off before the exhibit began.

Van Rensburg confirmed the photos reflected how he found the scene just before 4 a.m., about half an hour after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp. The former police officer said he had been on duty for about 24 hours by then, dealing with other cases.

The photos showed blood stains splattered on a white wall close to a group of trophies in the Paralympic champion's home. Running on carbon-fiber blades, Pistorius medaled repeatedly at the Paralympic games and also competed at the London Olympics, but didn't win a medal.

Photos of the bathroom showed broken wall tiles on the floor and a metal panel that had been damaged, apparently after being hit by a hard object.

There was an air gun and a baseball bat near the door to Pistorius' bedroom. Pictures of the bedroom showed a cabinet with multiple pairs of sunglasses and a blood-smeared box of watches, as well as blood stains on the carpets.

Van Rensburg described how, on arriving at Pistorius' house, he saw Steenkamp's body near the entrance covered in towels and plastic bags that the daughter of the estate manager said she had used, with assistance from Pistorius, to try to stop the bleeding.

Pistorius was pacing in the kitchen, van Rensburg said.

"I asked him what happened but he didn't answer me," the former police officer said. "He was in tears."

"We then followed the trail of blood up the stairs."

___

Torchia reported from Johannesburg.

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  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

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  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives to attend his murder trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on May 14, 2014. Oscar Pistorius will know on Wednesday if he is to face a month of mental tests requested by the state, a judge ruled on the 31st day of the trial, after an expert witness said he suffers from a 'general anxiety disorder'. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (C) arrives to attend his murder trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on May 14, 2014.Oscar Pistorius will know on Wednesday if he is to face a month of mental tests requested by the state, a judge ruled on the 31st day of the trial, after an expert witness said he suffers from a 'general anxiety disorder'. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

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  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

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  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (C) is embraced by a supporter as he arrives for his murder trial at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on May 5, 2014. Pistorius's murder trial resumes on May 5, 2014 after a two-week break, with the defence expected to call another round of expert witnesses after the prosecution tore apart the athlete's testimony. In the dock for the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius appeared to change his defence under cross examination, casting doubt on his credibility. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    Paralympian Oscar Pistorius chats to family members at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO:Alet Pretorius/Pool (Photo credit should read ALET PRETORIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

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    Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (R) chats with a family member at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. The athlete's murder trial resumed today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ALET PRETORIUS (Photo credit should read ALET PRETORIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #485280783 with alternate crop.) Oscar Pistorius on his cell phone while sitting in the dock in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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    Paralympian Oscar Pistorius chats to family members at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO:Alet Pretorius/Pool (Photo credit should read ALET PRETORIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

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    Paralympian Oscar Pistorius chats to family members at his murder trial at the high court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO:Alet Pretorius/Pool (Photo credit should read ALET PRETORIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

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    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Forensic Geologist, Roger Dixon, speaks to Professor Gerard Labuschagne in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Oscar Pistorius is comforted by brother, Carl Pistorius in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Arnold Pistorius speaks to a family member in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Professor Gerard Labuschagne in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Oscar Pistorius is comforted by brother, Carl Pistorius in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questions forensic geologist, Roger Dixon, in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Prosecutor Gerrie Nel questions forensic geologist, Roger Dixon, in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    Defense expert witness Roger Dixon holds a prosthesis during the trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on April 17, 2014 at the North Guteng High Court in Pretoria. The athlete's murder trial resumedt today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / Themba Hadebe (Photo credit should read THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Pistorius Is Tried For The Murder Of His Girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

    BY COURT ORDER, THESE IMAGES ARE FREE TO USE. PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 17: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Oscar Pistorius's family members sit in the gallery in the Pretoria High Court on April 17, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa. Oscar Pistorius stands accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013. This is Pistorius' official trial, the result of which will determine the paralympian athlete's fate. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    June Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp (L) and an unidentified family friend looks at South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on April 17, 2014 at the North Guteng High Court in Pretoria. The athlete's murder trial resumedt today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO / POOL - THEMBA HADEBE (Photo credit should read THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-CRIME-PISTORIUS

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  • SAFRICA-CRIME-PISTORIUS

    South African Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (R) arrives at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. The prosecution on April 16, 2014 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel sought to prove that forensic geologist Roger Dixon was out of his depth when he was testifying about bruises on Steenkamp's body and other key elements of the crime scene. AFP PHOTO / MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-CRIME-PISTORIUS

    South African Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (2nd L) arrives at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. The prosecution on April 16, 2014 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel sought to prove that forensic geologist Roger Dixon was out of his depth when he was testifying about bruises on Steenkamp's body and other key elements of the crime scene. AFP PHOTO / MUJAHID SAFODIEN (Photo credit should read MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    Defense expert witness Roger Dixon pulls off a sock from a prosthesis during the trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius on April 17, 2014 at the North Guteng High Court in Pretoria. The athlete's murder trial resumedt today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / Themba Hadebe (Photo credit should read THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel questions forensic geologist during cross-examination during the murder trial of paralympian Oscar Pistorius on April 17, 2014 at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. The athlete's murder trial resumedt today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO / POOL - ALET PRETORIUS (Photo credit should read ALET PRETORIUS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SAFRICA-TRIAL-PISTORIUS

    June Steenkamp, the mother of Reeva Steenkamp (2nd L) listens during the trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the North Guteng High Court in Pretoria on April 17, 2014. The athlete's murder trial resumedt today before a two-week postponement. The prosecution on April 16 derided a forensic expert hired by Oscar Pistorius, accusing him of being unqualified to testify and rubbishing his account of the circumstances of Reeva Steenkamp's death. AFP PHOTO/ POOL / Themba Hadebe (Photo credit should read THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images)